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Switzerland's extensive social security system provides the population with a safety net against financial and social risks encountered in old age, when someone falls ill, has an accident, has a disability or is unemployed, or when a family member dies.
The Swiss social security system is divided into five areas:
- Old Age and Survivors' Insurance, Invalidity Insurance (three-pillar system)
- Protection in case of illness or accident
- Compensation for loss of earnings for people on national service and women on maternity leave
- Unemployment benefit
- Family and child allowances
The social security system pays out pensions, compensation for loss of earnings, family allowances, bears the majority of costs incurred when someone falls ill or has an accident, and helps insured persons to reintegrate into society and the workplace. The system is financed primarily via contributions from insured persons and employers - deducted directly from wages or in the form of insurance premiums - and from taxes.
The Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO forms part of the Federal Department for Home Affairs FDHA and is responsible for drawing up and implementing social and old-age policy at federal level.
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